The translator's identity as perceived through metaphors

Zaixi Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


The (de/re)construction through translation of the linguistic-cultural identity of the One in relation to that of the Other can only be made possible by the translator functioning as its core participant. The present paper offers a study of this type of translator function. Specifically speaking, it studies translatorial identity as manifested through translational metaphors. Stemming from a project on Chinese and Western metaphors for translation undertaken by the author, the paper examines a selection of images taken from history and discusses how they may be seen as depicting different aspects of the translator's varied identity. The paper argues that by viewing this varied identity through the use of metaphors, we may be able to more fully understand the heterogeneous nature of translation and appreciate how best translation is to be performed, both within different languagecultural contexts and for various socio-political and intercultural communication purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-32
Number of pages20
JournalAcross Languages and Cultures
Issue number1
Early online date9 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • translator
  • identity
  • metaphor
  • heterogeneity
  • diversity
  • cross-culture


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